Nature of Material

Year: 2010
Self Production

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Nature of material is a series of stackable furniture. Each object is folded from a spread of laser cut aluminum sheet, which then bends to the final form using a bending mold.

The concept of the project is to combine straight origami like folds with natural folds. This is achieved by folding the legs of the objects in planned and exact folds which creates side effects of stretching and bending in the material. In other words, by folding the legs of the objects the surface above reacts naturally to the folding act.

This integration between the strict and natural folds creates a steady construction from one hand and a soft, organic, upholstery like shape from the other.

Nature of Material was presented during Milan design week 2010. In 2012 the project was put into production by Cappellini and is now part of the Cappellini collection as the NOM (Nature of Material) series. In 2014 NOM received the Red Dot “Best of the Best” award in the furniture category.

In 2015 Design Museum Holon exhibited “3D Flat – Bakery Studio Folding Chair at the Museum” our studios first solo exhibition curated by Galit Gaon which showed the development of the Nature of Material project until it reached production in Cappellini. About 30 prototypes and pieces of the projects are part of Design Museum Holon’s permanent collection.

The Nature of Material limited edition series include 10 chairs, 20 tables and 50 stools all signed and numbered by the designers and finished with a natural and colored anodize finish.

The project started with many small paper models that attempted to combine the natural and planned folds. We did not know where this was leading and the models weren’t necessarily models of functional objects but more of shape explorations.

While working on one of the paper model, a decision arose from the experimentations and we figured out how to combine the planed folds and the free folds: the legs of the object will be folded in planed straight folds and as a result the upper surface will react to the folding of the legs in a free form way.

The foundation model of the project

Now we needed to translate the paper model to metal. We started by testing the folding detail. These tests did not go quite as we expected: The metal didn’t fold where we wanted and did fold were we didn’t want. Each test was a negotiation with the material, excepting that it has its own “needs” and letting it fold where it wanted to. After a series of these fold details we ended the “negotiation” with the first 1:1 metal model of Nature of Material stool.

During the project we developed more than 200 spreads until we reached the final stool, table and chair spreads.

Stool folding process
The furniture pieces after anodize